Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present Dropping the Guru, an exhibition of new paintings by emerging artists Stefanie Heinze, Ana Prata and David Roeder. Running from 11 March to 9 April 2016, the show will look at each of the artist’s use of figurative elements in order to negotiate and explore abstraction in their work.
Stefanie Heinze’s paintings capture hallucinatory scenes in which corporeal forms bleed into one another; interlocking fingers, heel-clad feet and elephant trunks converge in unexpected conglomerations before dissolving into lush, fleshy brushstrokes. Translating the composition of her paintings from preliminary drawings, Heinze explains that ‘constructs without any logical connection bring about new shapes, motions and tensions’ in the work, causing reason to degenerate into ‘newsense’. The artist frequently depicts clumsy protagonists carrying out various, physical tasks; always on the verge of stumbling over, this fine line between composure and failure adds to the restlessness that characterises the structure of Heinze’s paintings as each action and shape blends into the next.
Driven by her imagination, Ana Prata seeks to reconfigure how everyday imagery is perceived. Prata captures the essence of an object or scene by breaking it down into its constituent parts, using a distinct vernacular of simple brushstrokes to form a distilled, often humorous version of the former image. These simple arrangements of abstract marks subsequently trigger greater, mental associations; stems of lavender are composed of hurried brush marks, whilst a raised stamp of vermilion paint is used to evoke a blazing sun. Several of the works in the exhibition document the artist’s intense formal experimentation with paint, each one facilitating her understanding of how to apply marks onto the canvas in the most economic way.
David Roeder destabilises common conventions of communication. Reclaiming everyday imagery, Roeder generates new meaning by grouping seemingly disparate shapes and symbols together. Shifting between abstraction and figuration, his paintings capture a sense of transitoriness; recognisable images, such as kitchen utensils and leaves, evaporate into indeterminable shapes. Layers of rough, scraped-back paint, constructed through a process of layering and erasing, obscure the forms even further, revealing the blemished colours and outlines of underlying compositions.
Stefanie Heinze (b. 1987; Berlin, Germany) lives and works in Berlin and Leipzig. Earlier this year, Heinze participated in a three-person exhibition at Rod Barton, London. Her work is included in the collection of Saatchi Gallery, London.
Ana Prata (b. 1980; Sete Lagoas, Brazil) lives and works in São Paulo. In September 2015, Prata presented a solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle São Paulo. She has had numerous solo shows in South America, including those at the Centro Cultural São Paulo, Instituto Tomie Ohtake and Galeria Millan. She participated in consecutive editions of the International Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil in both 2011 and 2013. Her work is included in the collection of Instituto Itaú Cultural, Brazil. Flash Art profiled Prata’s work in a special edition focusing on São Paulo in January 2015. Prata has a forthcoming RU residency in New York from March 2016.
David Roeder (b. 1987; Eden, Germany) lives and works in Glasgow. Roeder’s work has been shown at numerous venues including the Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; Torna, Istanbul; Institute for Contemporary Arts, London and Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig. His work will be included in forthcoming shows at Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig and The Glue Factory, Glasgow.